The road accident in Kishtwar poses grave questions, and we need answers to them; we need answers urgently, and very meaningfully. It is not just a mishap, it is reflection on how the lives of the ordinary people are put to peril by those who are tasked to save them. The heart rending story of how the entire family dies, leaving behind a little baby girl, is too huge a pain to be neglected soon. Beyond news, and beyond the customary condolence messages there is a world of things that need to be done. The immediate is to attend to the devastated families and console them. Up next is to find the families that have lost earning hands and are now face to face with an impending financial crisis. Then comes the most important – nail the culprits. The generalised faults that the roads are not in good condition, that the vehicles are not properly managed, that the driving licenses and permits are not duly checked and the likes, are not going to suffice.
We have been pointing out these faults each time a mishap happens. Just some days back when a similar accident happened on the Mughal road and we lost lives of young girls, we raised these issues related to roads, and traffic management. Before that we must have done this umpteen times. But then we forget this till the tragedy revisits us. The point is that someone must take the responsibility for this. The immediate personnel on the road, the first line of officers who are entrusted with the job of enforcing the law, are rersponsible. And the most importantly the top level of officials who are answerable for every single thing that happens in their respective departments. Unless we subject such mishaps to enquiry and fix the responsibility we are not going to make any change in the working the officials. In almost all such accidents there are rules that are floundered. It is time to find out who is responsible for allowing this to happen. Once the culpability is fixed, the persons guilty must be served due punishment. But it must not be a symbolic exercise where you suspend the lowest in the rank. It must begin from the top.